Buckingham Group Contracting has won a contract to build a temporary depot for Tyne and Wear Metro at Howden in North Tyneside.
The temporary depot, which is to be located on a former landfill site, will be used as a maintenance facility for the some of the current Metro fleet while the main Metro depot in Gosforth in Newcastle is rebuilt. It will be used for the cleaning and preparation of up to ten Metro trains during the redevelopment of the Gosforth depot.
It will play a key role in the phased delivery of the new Metro fleet, which is scheduled to begin arriving at the end of 2021. Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, aims to have the temporary depot ready for use by the summer of 2020.
Nexus has secured Government grant funding of £337 million towards the projected £362 million cost of designing and building a new train fleet and depot. This and the ongoing maintenance of the fleet over 35 years makes the total budget about £500 million.
Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Nexus, said: “We need a temporary Metro depot while we transition to permanent new maintenance facilities and the new Metro train fleet.
“Our main depot in Gosforth is going to be completely rebuilt and this work will happen in stages, so we must have a bespoke location to store and maintain our trains while that project is delivered over the next few years.
“The site in North Tyneside is ideal for us, and it can also be used as the delivery point when the Metro new trains start arriving.”
Rob Harwood, Buckingham’s rail contracts director, added: “We are delighted to have secured this prestigious contract and are looking forward to working closely with Nexus to complete this critical component of the overall Metro upgrade programme.”